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Abstract

Few universities have adapted their course man­agement systems to serve as an advising tool. The purpose of this qualitative study was to use focus group interviews to explore undergraduate students’ experi­ences and perceptions of using Canvas, a course man­agement system, to supplement face-to-face advising in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Utah State University. Forty students representing all college academic departments participated in eight focus groups. Most participants indicated they were unaware of Canvas’s advising features, thinking the tool was pri­marily used to send announcements and respond to stu­dents’ e-mails. Participants enjoyed receiving announce­ments about club activities, internships, and important deadlines for their academic program. The majority of participants requested that the college’s student ser­vices center provide more explanation on how to use Canvas as an advising tool, including details about the existing resources and how to access them. Partici­pants also requested more resources, including sched­uling advisor meetings online, a discussion board, and a student forum. These findings offer information for how academic advisors or faculty advisors could use their university’s or college’s existing course management system to interact with students and help them make more informed advising decisions.

 

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